Kinlaw gives Tennessee visit high praise

The InsideTennessee staff was out in force last weekend to get the latest on visitors for Tennessee's second junior day. Sign in now to read what this South Carolina-based running back said about Butch Jones and the Vols.

Tennessee tapped into South Carolina for its lone 2013 signee at the running back position, Jabo Lee. It may head southeast again to get a ball-carrier with the 2014 class, this time hunting Caleb Kinlaw.

The Goose Creek (S.C.) High School standout made his third trip to Knoxville on Saturday for an invite-only junior day.

"I liked it a lot," Kinlaw told InsideTennessee. "Being here, this is probably the best visit I've had since the recruiting process began."

From head coach Butch Jones, to Neyland Stadium to the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder found plenty to turn his head.

"Just everything, the facilities. I saw the new facilities and things like that, and coach Jones and his optimism. I mean you just come into the program and think you're going to win a national championship. That means a lot. He's a guy that knows what he's doing, and he's done it at Cincinnati."

Having previously worked on staff at South Carolina, current Tennessee running backs coach Jay Graham knows his way around that neck of the woods.

"I talked to coach Graham a lot," Kinlaw said. "That's probably the closest relationship I have out of all the coaches in the recruiting process. It's between him and (South Carolina assistant Steve) Spurrier Jr."

The Volunteers had already issued a scholarship offer, along with Clemson, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and South Carolina. He visited Columbia, S.C., back on Feb. 2 and planned a trip to Chapel Hill, N.C., this weekend. He is also contemplating a drive up to see Ohio State.

Vol running backs coach Jay Graham is back in South Carolina hunting for talent.
(Danny Parker/
The FOX Sports NEXT three-star says he will come back to Rocky Top later this spring as he now has Tennessee as one of his favorite schools.

"They're right at the top. I'd say they're around No. 1 or No. 2," he said.

A commitment isn't likely to go public anytime soon with his wanting to take official visits before even narrowing down to a list of finalists.

Kinlaw is an all-purpose back. He has plenty of experience catching the football after swapping back and forth between running back and wideout with Georgia signee Tramel Terry.

"Down home we run a straight Power-I, Option. I like the Pro-Style offense," Kinlaw said. "I would rather have a Spread attack with some inside runs so I can use my speed more than I do in my offense."

The long-strider is considered by many to be the top Class of 2014 runner in the Palmetto State. He is already adept at being patient to the hole and then exploding through it.

The last two years combined, Kinlaw has toted the rock 346 times for 3,047 yards and 31 touchdowns. His big-play potential is evident with his average 8.8 yards per carry.

Goose Creek, undefeated and ranked No. 1, eliminated Bluffton in an SCHSL Class AAAA Division II quarterfinal last November but was disqualified days after a ruling came down that the Gators used an ineligible player.

This spring, when he's not letting his hamstrings heal from a long football season, Kinlaw will compete for the Goose Creek track team, participating in the 4x100 and 200-meter.

To have a look at the runner's 2012 season highlights, CLICK HERE

Danny Parker is currently the Managing Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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